Trauma will haunt an entire generation; CHILDREN OF WAR APPEAL
Friday 01 December 1995
More than 90 per cent of children living in the Bosnian city of Mostar are believed to be suffering post-traumatic stress disorder, laying the ground for more conflict as they grow up to be "aggressive risk-takers", a conference will hear today.
Paediatricians and psychiatrists at the Children and Violence Conference at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham will examine issues including video violence, child protection and how children are affected by war.
Professor David Southall, who spent the 14 months up to June in Mostar, is presenting evidence gathered during a Unicef/Child Advocacy International project there in which 7,352 children were treated. It found that as well as obvious dangers such as shelling, children suffer damage from the lack of simple facilities such as dental care and glasses.
"I would say 90 per cent of children there are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Only the most serious, with severe behavioural disturbances, were picked up by the survey," he said.
"They display all the classic signs. Some were completely silent, wouldn't talk or work at school, or became highly aggressive. There's a whole generation of very damaged children"
One 11-year-old girl's father had died of a heart attack. Her mother was later killed by a shell in front of her. "After this she went to pieces," Professor Southall said. "When we saw her she wasn't talking or doing any work at school. We did a lot of psychotherapy with her and she's better than she was, but you can't undo that. It will haunt her for the rest of her life.
Many children had their glasses deliberately taken off by soldiers and stamped on and had been unable to see properly for years. About 85 per cent of children suffered dental problems. The charities have been campaigning for toothbrushes and toothpaste.
Child Advocacy International is one of four charities working in Bosnia who will benefit from the Independent's Christmas charity appeal. Readers have already contributed pounds 35,722, including pounds 12,747 yesterday alone.
- 3 Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Kim Kardashian on Bruce Jenner's 'story': 'We support him no matter what, and I think when the time is right, he'll talk'
Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...
£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...